Welcome again, traveler, to the choices that will shape your future…
We have spoken of Truth and Love; there is one virtue left that will guide your travels in the lands of Novia. That virtue being the virtue of Courage.
There are many paths of courage. Some courage is quite easy to come by – after all, if you live in a land where daily survival is a struggle, standing against your foes becomes a habit almost reassuring. Such are the defenders of the Norguard, the knights of Valhold who have made a valiant stand for generations now, defending the lands to their south from terrors below the earth. When you are expected to man the battlements no matter what wizard-spawned abomination appears below, knowing that the survival of your family and your people depend on your will, courage becomes quite easy to find. Such were the Formorian wars, and the survival of the North.
Of all the creatures that were discovered in the Formorian era, none are more challenging, more fascinating and more terrible than the Kobold. Named, like the elves to the south, after a legend long forgotten, the Norguard at first thought them oafish and weak. They were not huge of stature, nor were they particularly savage in their first combats. Yet, the kobolds, like the men they fight, are far more than an initial glance would suggest. They are far from stupid; in fact they may be among the cleverest of mankind’s foes. They form armies, fight with tactics learned from hundreds of battles, and use unique weapons forged with their own knowledge of metal and steel. In fact, the few who have survived the kobold warrens report a level of industry in many ways beyond that of man.
The kobolds are not stupid, traveller, oh no. They know that the first, instinctive reaction of men to their appearance is that of scorn and laughter at their dimunitive size. It has, in fact, shaped much of their culture – and yes, the kobolds have their own culture, tales and loves. They have a sense of honor, in many ways more than those men they fight – and this irony, they too are well aware of. They know we men scorn them, and it drives them into an even more furious hatred of us. They call us weak, traveller, and honorless, and craven and corrupt, and worse yet. And from their viewpoint, they are not wrong. You will discover that, too, traveller, if you have the courage to see.
They consider it their duty, their own courage, to cast down the defenders of Valhold from their base in the Thrones of Skrekk. The few prisoners that have been taken have one, only one message, full of scorn and hatred returned for the race of man. That message is simple: they will never stop.
There is so much we could learn from kobolds, traveller, if we had the courage to. But courage can be very difficult to find, especially in the midst of a war of generations, a struggle of peoples. King Granus, from his throne in Valhold, has the courage of armies, and of warriors, and of a guard never lifted, a shield grown heavy from being borne so very long. It remains for you to deliver the courage of wisdom, and to see if that message can still be heard.
For if you cannot, it may be that man is no longer the master of Novia…